Apple steps up the pressure for sustainable supply chains

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The transition to a new green economy requires innovation, ambition and purpose, according to Apple chief Tim Cook.

And he has backed that statement up with the launch of two programmes aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of its manufacturing partners in China. The aim is to avoid over 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution in the country between now and 2020.

Apple plans to build more than 200 megawatts of solar projects in the northern, eastern and southern grid regions of China, which will produce the equivalent of the energy used by more by than 265,000 Chinese homes in a year and will begin to offset the energy used in Apple’s supply chain.

It also aims to get its manufacturing partners to become more energy efficient and to use clean energy for their manufacturing operations. Apple will partner with suppliers in China to install more than two gigawatts of clean energy in the coming years.

As part of these programmes, supplier Foxconn will construct 400 megawatts of solar, starting in the Henan Province, by 2018. Foxconn has committed to generate as much clean energy as its Zhengzhou factory consumes in final production of iPhone.

Apple reckons it is now powering 100 per cent of its operations in China and the US, and more than 87 per cent of its worldwide operations, with renewable energy.

And where Apple leads, an increasing number of US companies (particularly) are following. This huge initiative can only increase the pressure on companies to step their efforts to increase the sustainability of their supply chains.

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